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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Love Is A Fabulous Thing - Les Baxter

Hot Summer ST1008
Hot Summer T1008
Love Is A Fabulous Thing
Lex Baxter
His Music and His Orchestra
Producer: Voyle Gilmore
Capitol Records
ST1088 & T1088

Love Is A Fabulous Thing
Hot Summer Night
Cherchez La Femme
Our Kind Of Love
Moonlight Stroll
Rush Hour Romance
Early Morning Blues
Paris Interlude (Mignonette - Femme Du Monde - Gamin)
My Love And The Sea
Afternoon Affair
Well, All Night Long
Dawn On The City

They Are All Raving About Bruce Scott

Once A Thief, Twice A Thief
They Are All Raving About Bruce Scott
A Concert House Production
Produced By Lew Futterman
Director Of Engineering: Val Valentin
Cover Design: Ace Lehman
Cover Photo: Charles Varon
Liner Photo: James Demetropoulos
MGM Records E/SE-4339

From the back cover: Whether he (Scott) has been in the "In-Group" environs of "The Merv Griffin Show," the youthful tumult of "Hullabaloo," of the "show-biz" glitter of "The Al Hirt Show," Bruce has always performed beyond expectations. Whether he sang a rock-and-roll hit, an all-time standard or a show-tune, Bruce has invariably received heavy mail from fans saying they felt his version of the song was the best they had ever heard.

So Much To Live For
Soon It's Gonna Rain
Once A Thief, Twice A Thief
As Tears Go By
Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)
A Young Man Says Goodbye
If It Wasn't For You
You Can't Lose Something You Never Had
Something In My Eye

Friday, December 8, 2017

I'll Remember April - Patti Page

The Breeze
I'll Remember April
Patti Page
With Jack Rael & His Orchestra
Mercury Records
MG 20406

A Blossom Fell
It Looks Like Rain In Cherry Blossom Lane
Mighty Like A Rose
You're The One Rose That's Left In My Heart
My Wild Irish Rose
Garden In The Rain
I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine
On The Sunny Side Of The Street
The Breeze (That's Bringing My Baby Back To Me)
I'll Remember April
April Showers
Young At Heart

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Kenton Wagner - Stan Kenton

Ride Of The Valkyries From "Die Walkuere"
Kenton Wagner
From The Creative World Of Stan Kenton Comes Innovations On Great Wagnerian Themes
Capitol Records STAO 2217

From Billboard - February 27, 1965: A giant of this ear of music, Stan Kenton has brilliantly and sensitively arranged the great works of Wagner to fit the modern world of music and yet retain their classic quality. An undertaking few could accomplish with such impact and beauty. All the fire and drive of Wagner is complemented by Kenton. Prelude and Love Death from "Triston and Isolde" a classic example.

From the inside cover: In 1940 after more than eight years of study Kenton began composing and arranging for his own orchestra "Everytime I'd sit at the piano and begin writing," said Stan, "I'd think about all the things Ravel and I discussed that night. In fact, he was the stimulus for two of the things I later wrote for the Artistry In Rhythm Orchestra. I think if he had lived he would have enjoyed analyzing the structure of Artisty In Bolero and Fantasy."

Over the next ten years Stan and chief arranger Pete Rugolo became convinced that the only way to make their modern music survive as to experiment with the complex ideas of the classical school and to fuse them along new thematic and harmonic lines. "If I had stuck to the original music that Pete and I wrote for the Artist In Rhythm Orchestra," said Stan, "I'd probably be the richest man in music today. But Id also be the most bored!"

In addition to jazz and dance arrangements, Kenton and Rugolo added concert scores to the library which were inspired by the writings of Ravel, Debussy, Hindemith, Stravinsky and Schonberg. By 1949, Kenton's intense urge to communicate musically on as many levels as possible again caused him to re-evaluate his creative perspective.

Even though his music had been accepted as one of the post provocative art forms of the twentieth century, he still sought new methods for breaking down the harmonic barriers which had crippled contemporary music for so many years. If his music was to speak for of textures, tempos and contrasts characteristic of the age, then the range of the Orchestra would have to be expanded.

In January of 1950, Kenton assembled a forty-piece orchestra which included violins, cellos, woodwinds, brass and tympani, and commissioned a new library to be written. The Innovations In Modern Music Orchestra not only allowed him to present a classical approach to jazz, but proved a big band could remain in existence even though it had dramatically shifted musical direction. Critics thought out the world unanimously agreed that Kenton's neo-classic concert scores had intelligently begun to bridge the gap between jazz and classical music. And yet, although the thematic material Kenton wrote for the Innovation's Orchestra made a lasting contribution to modern music, he relentlessly followed his artistic conscience and kept accumulating knowledge in order to project new ideas. By 1964, the scope, subtlety, and brooding brilliance of his music emphasized the sharpness and accuracy of his reminiscences of the contemporary scene.

Last winter while preparing a lecture on the influences classical music had on his own written he began sketching out on the piano an arrangement of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, as it might sound if Wagner had scored it for the Kenton Orchestra. The more he analyzed Wagner's music the more convinced he became that the Kenton Orchestra should record the music of Germany's revolutionary 19th century composer.

Ride For The Valkyries From "Die Walkuere"
Siegfired's Funeral March From "Goetterdaemmerung"
Prelude To Act I Of "Lohengrin"
Prelude To Act III Of "Lohengrin"
Prelude To "Tristan und Isolde"
Wedding March From "Lohengrin"
Pilgrims' Chorus From "Tannhaeuser"

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Aloha! - Sam Koki

Song Of The Island
Great Instrumental Favorites Of Hawaii
Sam Koki And The Paradise Islander
With The Waikiki Strings
Kapp Records KS-3233

Paradise Isle
Pagan Love Song
The Cockeyed Mayor Of Kaunakakai
Hawaiian Paradise
Song Of The Islands
The Hukilau Song
The One Rose
South Sea Island Magic
My Little Grass Shack In Kealakakua, Hawaii
White Ginger Blossoms
When Hilo Hattie Does The Hilo Hop
Beyond The Reef

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Keyboard - Oscar Peterson

Music By Oscar Peterson
Cover Photo: Alex de Paola
Verve Records MGV 2047

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover, which does not appear with the online set.

This is the 1957 Verve reissue (black label).

From the back cover: In its present form, the Oscar Peterson trio has been together for the last several years and it is increasingly a unit where teamwork is the watchword. Not long ago, Peterson himself told a Down Beat critic that his current major aim was in perfecting the unity of his trio as well as improving his own pianists. "What helps one, though, helps the other," Peterson said. "And we all get better together – as a trio."

Oscar Peterson, piano and Major Holly, bass:

Jumping' With Symphony Sid
Robbins Nest
Tico Tico
Get Happy
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
Deep Purple
Exactly Like You
I'll Remember April

Oscar Peterson, piano and Ray Brown, bass:

Easy To Love
Taking A Chance On Love
Squatty Roo
After All

Monday, December 4, 2017

A Tribute To Glenn Miller - Fontanna

String Of Pearls
A Tribute To Glenn Miller
Fontanna And His Orchestra
Masterseal MS-68

In The Mood
I Dream Of Jeannie
Moonlight Serenade
When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again
Tuxedo Junction
Volga Boatman
String Of Pearls
Little Brown Jug
St. Louis Blues
Londonderry Air
Pennsylvania 6-5000
America Patrol

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Alto Blue - Johnny Hodges

Honey Hill
Alto Blue
The Incomparable Pairing Of Blues And Johnny Hodges
Assisted by Groups of Jazzmen including: Roy Eldridge, Billy Strayhorn, Ben Webster, Lionel Hampton, Oscar Peterson
Originally recorded under the supervision of Norman Grans
A&R Research & Coordination: Jack Maher
Remastering Engineer: Frank Greenwald
Cover Art: John Henry
VSP Verve

Side One recorded April 5, 1958

Cool Your Motor
Jam Blues
Honey Hill

Cool Your Motor, Honey Hill and Blues A-Plenty:
Johnny Hodges - alto saxophone
Ben Webster - tenor saxophone
Roy Eldridge - trumpet
Vic Dickenson - trombone
Billy Strayhorn - piano
Jimmy Woode - bass
Sam Woodyard - drums

Side Two recorded September 10, 1958

Blues A-Plenty
Not So Dukish
Preacher Blues

Jam Blues:
Johnny Hodges - alto sax
Lionel Hampton - vibes
Oscar Peterson - piano
Ben Webster - tenor saxophone
Roy Eldridge - trumpet
Flip Phillips - tenor sax
Dizzy Gillespie - trumpet
Illinois Jacquet - tenor sax
Ray Brown - bass
Buddy Rich - drums
This is the 8 minutes and 13 seconds from the discontinued LP V-8090 which takes up one entire side of that LP.

Johnny Hodges - alto saxophone
Ben Webster - tenor saxophone
Roy Eldridge - trumpet
Ray Nance - trumpet (trumpet fills near close of Preacher Blues)
Lawrence Brown - trombone
Billy Strayhorn - piano
Jimmy Woode - bass
Sam Woodyard -drums

Latin Rendezvous - The George Shearing Quintet

Mambo Serenade

Latin Rendezvous
The George Shearing Quintet
Augmented with Latin Percussion and Flute
Produced by David Cavanaugh and Tom Morgan
Cover Photo: Capitol Studio/George Herman
Capitol Records T 2326 & ST 2326

From Billboard - June 12, 1965: Combining a variety of well-written compositions with the creativity and the remarkable Latin feel and touch of Shearing and Latin percussion have been added to the quintet and are used effectively throughout "I Wished On The Moon" and "All Through The Night." "Quiet Night" is particularly haunting and fresh.

I Left My Heart In San Francisco
Just Goofin'
Your Is My Heart Alone
Quiet Nights
Mambo Serenade
With Feeling
I Wished On The Moon
Tie Me Donkey
All Through The Night
Mambo At The Blackhawk

A Drum Is A Woman - Duke Ellington

Drum Is A Woman - Part 1
A Drum Is A Woman
Duke Ellington And His Orchestra
Featuring Margaret Tynes, Joya Sherrill, Ozzie Bailey and Chorus
Music, Lyrics, Arrangements by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn
Columbia CL 951

Reeds: Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Russell Procope, Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves. Rick Henderson
Trumpets: "Cat" Anderson, Clark Terry, Ray Nance, Willie Cook
Trombones: Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, John Sanders
Drums: Sam Woodyard, Candido, Terry Snyder
Piano: Duke Ellington
Bass: Jimmy Wood
Harp: Betty Glamann

From the back cover: As is customary during any Ellington performance, the individual members of his orchestra are featured as soloists throughtou "A Drum Is A Women." But this record introduces two new stars to Ellington audiences and reintroduces singer Joya Sherrill. Joya, who first met Ellington when she came as a high school student to sing for him and was immediately hired, toured with the band during the mid-forties. She is now married, the mother of two children, and singing in clubs throughout the country whenever her career can continue without interfering with her family life.

Soprano Margaret Tynes has heretofore devoted her exciting voice exclusively to operatic and concert appearances. Although she has been heard by many audiences at New York's City Center, as well as in televised opera, she had never sung with jazz musicians before. Having accustomed herself to such surprises as seeing the Ellington brass section waving rubber plungers over the bells of their horns, she is now a through-going jazz fan.

Ozzie Bailey is a native New Yorker whose mother and father where born in Trinidad, which accounts for his convincing way with a calypso song. He has been singing in clubs for several years before this introduction to Ellington's g
reat orchestra. As for his plans – he'll sing, and the oftener it's with Duke's band, the better.

From Billboard - April 28, 1957: One of the biggest album promotion drives has been set by Columbia Records in conjunction with United States Steel and BBDO on behalf of Duke Ellington's fantasy, "A Drum Is A Woman." The Ellington opus, regarded as the first jazz spectacular and the first TV show inspired by an album, will be done in compatible color television over CBS on May 8.

In additon to distributing copies of the complete album within its own organization, U.S. Steel had Columbia mail more than 150 LPs to key city TV editors. Special audience kits, containing a 45 r.p.m. of excerpts from the album, a 12-inch LP of recorded spots by Ellington together with scripts, and a complete brief of the May 8 show, are being mailed to TV program directors. The program managers are also being serviced by CBS-TV with film trailers, mats, slides, etc. Selection radio stations will also be furnished promotional kits and the special 45 r.p.m. record. The 45 r.p.m. did will also be distributed within the U.S. Steel organization.

U.S. Steel's ad campaign, of 100-line, 200-line and 600-line size runs from May 5 thur May 8, with key outlets covered, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Publicity in national magazines will continue thru the performance date.

"A Drum Is A Woman," produced on records and released mid-February by Irv Townsend, will be done on TV by Theater Guild under the direction of Marshall Jamieson.

Part I
A Drum Is A Woman
Vocals – Margaret Tynes

Rhythm Pum Te Dum
Chorus – Unknown Artist 

What Else Can You Do With A Drum - Calypso
Vocals – Ozzie Bailey 

Part II

New Orleans
Narrator – Duke Ellington 

Hey, Buddy Bolden
Chorus – Unknown ArtistVocals – Joya Sherrill
Carribee Joe
Vocals – Joya Sherrill
Congo Square
Narrator – Duke Ellington 

Part III
Zajj: A Drum Is A Woman - Part 2
Vocals – Margaret Tynes
You Better Know It
Vocals – Ozzie Bailey
Carribee Joe
Vocals – Joya Sherrill
Madam Zajj
Narrator – Duke Ellington
Ballet Of The Flying Saucers
Part IV
Zajj's Dream
Narrator – Duke EllingtonVocals – Joya Sherrill
Vocals – Joya Sherrill
Carribee Joe - Part 2
Vocals – Joya Sherrill
Vocals – Margaret Tynes, Ozzie Bailey

La Chunga - Arthur Murray - Perez Prado

Perez Prado
Features The New Dance La Chunga
By The Arthur Murrays Perez Prado And His Orchestra
Produced by Herman Diaz, Jr.
RCA Victor LPS-2379

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the back cover.

From Billboard - July 30, 1961: The tunes included in this LP by the Prado band from what might be a basic repertoire for an exciting new dance craze. Prado has invented a new dance step, "La Chunga," and the Arthur Murray Dance Studios are teaching it. The exhilarating dance rhythms contained on this LP should get "La Chunga" off to a flying start. They are filled with Latin American swing, fine group vocalizing and splendid, punching organ work reminiscent of Perez' "Patricia" hit. The liner also briefly outlines and illustrates the steps to the new dance; this, along with the Arthur Murray tie-in, should help the sale of the set.

Ritmor De Chunga
El Escrupuloso
La Chunga
Chunga-La Chunga-La
Rica Chunga
La Toalla
Teresita la Chunga
El Saco y la Camisa
Chunga Es
Bailando la Chunga
La Vinda de Saragoza
El Burro

Ted Weems And His Orchestra - Bobby Freedman

Ted Weems And His Orchestra
With The Exciting Sounds Of Bobby Freeman
Spinorama S-146

These Foolish Things
Ain't Misbehaven
When You Smiles
American Patrol
La Mattinata
Swing Easy
Yellow Rose Of Texas

Delightfully Light - Red Norvo - Cal Tjader

What Is This Thing Called Love
Delightfully Light
Red Norvo Trio
The Cal Tjader Quartet
Jazztone Society J1277

Side One

Red Norvo, vibes; Tal Barlow or Jimmy Raney (*), guitar, Red Mitchell, bass

From the back cover: Red Norvo has been making musical jazz for close to thirty years. They have been jazz sounds of different sorts, for Kenneth "Red" Norvo began his career as a xylophonist, playing for Paul Ash, Victor Young and Paul Whitman, before he formed one of the great all-time jazz groups in the mid-thirties. At first it was a sextet (without a piano – and long before Mulligan, too!), then it became a septet, then a ten piece and finally a fourteen piece orchestra. In addition to Red's wonderful, light, always swinging xylophone, his groups boasted the modern arrangements (modern even by today's standards) of young Eddie Sauter, plus the ever-superb singing of Red's first wife, the late Mildred Bailey.

Always a musician with a keen ear for changes of every sort, Norvo switched to vibes in the forties, played in Benny Goodman's Quartet, in the first and most famous of Woody Herman's several Herds, and finally settled on the West Coast, where, with his brother-in-law, Shorty Rodgers, he has acted as one of the leaders of the modern jazz movement.

In 1950 he formed the first of several trios, whose recordings, according to Leonard Feather's Encyclopedia Of Jazz, "were acclaimed as the most striking example of subtlety and finesse in modern, chamber-music style jazz." Charlie Mingus was his bassist; Tal Farrow, the Lincoln-faced guitarist from North Carolina whose superb-sounding strumming is featured on two of the selections of this disc, was its third member. Tal was later replaced by Jimmy Raney, an especially inventive modernist who played in the Herman Herd and later for two years on this disc. Featured throughout all five selections is one of the most exciting and dextrous of today's bassists, Red Mitchell, another Herman alumnus, who has made so many fine records with other top West Coast jazz stars.

What's Is This Thing Called Love
Let's Fall In Love
Preluded To A Kiss (*)
Bernie's Tune (*)
Just One Of Those Things (*)

Side Two

Cal Tjader, vibes; Gerry Wiggins or Vince Guaraldi (*) piano; Gene Wright, bass; Bill Douglass or Al Torre (*), drums

From the back cover: Cal Tjader was born in St. Louis, Mo., seventeen years after Red Norvo had been born less than a hundred miles away in Beardstown, Ill. A graduate in music and education of San Francisco State College, he was drummer and vibist in Dave Brubeck's trio and octet in the late forties and early fifties, after which he played vibes in George Shearing's Quintet, then formed his own groups which have alternated between swinging, modern jazz and jazz versions of the mambo and other Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms.

Tjader's avowed favorites are Milt Jackson and Lionel Hampton, though there's delicacy in his style that could only stem from Norvo's original influence. On the first two of the selections on this disc, recorded in Hollywood during May of 1956 he plays with three out-and-out swingers" the very groovy Gerry Wiggins, who has served with Benny Carter, Louis Armstrong and Les Hate, and whose tasty accompaniments have backed several top singers" Gene Wright, who has passed for Basie, Buddy DeFranco and Norvo, and drummer, Art Tatum and DeFranco.

On the remaining three selections, cut at the Blackhawk in San Francisco during January of 1957, Cal's Quartet consists of the same Gene Wright on bass, a comparative newcomer, Al Torre, on drums and Vince Guaraldi, once a member of the Third Herd, whose love for playing and swinging (I'm just a reformed boogie-woogie pianist!") is evident throughout all his passages.

Battle Hymn Of The Republic
For All We Know
Thinking Of You, MJQ(*)
Blues In The Night (*)
Lover, Come Back To Me (*)